After Placement of Dental Implants
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.
Do not smoke for at least 24 hours following surgery. Smoking may contribute to infection and delay wound healing. Smoking will also increase bleeding. Smoking may affect the long term success of your dental implants.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected after implant surgery. If bleeding continues or is excessive, remove all blood clots from the mouth with a damp washcloth. Place a tight ball of gauze or a moist tea bag over the bleeding area and apply firm pressure by biting the teeth together for 45 minutes. Repeat this as necessary until the blood clot forms and the bleeding stops.
Swelling is associated with any implant surgery. Some people swell more than others and some surgical procedures cause more swelling than others. A moderate amount of swelling should be expected after implant surgery. Swelling usually peaks after 48 hours and will last 5 to 7 days. Applying ice packs to the face over the area of surgery for 24 to 48 hours immediately following surgery may prevent swelling. Apply the ice 20 minutes “on” and 20 minutes “off”. Crushed ice in a zip-loc baggie wrapped in a towel works well.
There is discomfort associated with any implant surgery. For mild discomfort, take Tylenol or Ibuprofen every 4 to 6 hours (follow directions on bottle). For severe pain, use the prescription given to you. It is best to take pain medicine prior to disappearance of local anesthesia (numbness).
There is often bruising or discoloration of the skin associated with implant surgery. Some people discolor more than others and some surgical procedures cause more discoloration than others. Bruising may be quite noticeable and can extend into the neck area. Discoloration usually lasts 7-14 days.
A nutritionally balanced diet is essential for gaining strength and rapid healing. If multiple implants have been placed for upper or lower complete dentures, your diet should consist of full liquids and pureed foods for a few days as instructed by Bruce A. Fraser, D.D.S., M.S. and Gregory C. Michaels, D.D.S., M.S. followed by a slow advancement of your diet as tolerated to normal food. If you had a single implant placed, your diet should consist of soft foods, that do not require chewing but instead are just swallowed for about 5 days. Drink an abundance of water. Do not use straws for 24 hours.
You may brush your teeth and rinse orally beginning 24 hours after surgery. Rinse with Periogard Oral Rinse, using 1/2 ounce swish for 30 seconds and spit. This should be done twice a day. You may also use a warm salt water rinse following meals and snacks for 7 to 10 days after surgery to flush out particles of food and debris that may lodge in the surgical area (1/2 tsp. of salt in 8 oz. of warm water). Refrain from wearing your denture immediately after surgery. You should see your dentist approximately 3 – 5 days after surgery for an adjustment of your denture to fit over the implant site as directed by Drs. Fraser and Michaels. Denture wear, in the dental arch not involved with surgery, can begin the day of surgery, however, no active chewing should be done. The corners of your mouth may be dry or cracked. Moisten your lips with Chap Stick or Blistex.
There usually is a slight elevation of temperature for 24-48 hours after implant surgery. If fever persists above 101.5, call the office.
If you received anesthesia or sedation for implant surgery, refrain from driving a motor vehicle or operating machinery for 24 hours.
- excessive discomfort that cannot be controlled with pain pills
- you have bleeding that cannot be controlled by biting on gauze
- you have increased swelling after 72 hours following surgery
- you feel you have a fever or have any questions